Luis Nery wasn’t especially pleased with how he fought in his most recent bout.
Nery tried different training methods before his fight against Aaron Alameda and felt as though he only operated at about 60 percent of his capabilities September 26. It didn’t help, Nery noted, that the previously undefeated Alameda was reluctant to engage, which led to an indisputable but unremarkable 12-round, unanimous-decision victory.
The 26-year-old Nery became a world champion in a second weight class by beating Mexico’s Alameda, but the Tijuana native intends to perform much more impressively when he battles Brandon Figueroa on Saturday night in Carson, California. Their 12-round, 122-pound title fight, the main event of Showtime’s tripleheader, figures to be much more entertaining than the unbeaten Nery’s defeat of Alameda (25-1, 13 KOs).
Figueroa (21-0-1, 16 KOs), of Weslaco, Texas, is an all-action southpaw who typically abandons defense and makes fan-friendly fights. That’s fine by Nery (31-0, 24 KOs) after what the Mexican southpaw experienced against Alameda, another left-handed fighter who took a huge step up in class when he encountered Nery.
“Brandon Figueroa’s style bodes perfectly for me because he’s the kind of fighter who wants to come forward, who wants to exchange punches, that wants to mix it up,” Nery told BoxingScene.com. “Alameda was a tougher equation for me to solve because he didn’t wanna do anything. He didn’t wanna mix it up, he didn’t wanna get hit, he didn’t wanna hit, so he was tougher for me to figure out. Figueroa is the complete opposite. It’s a 180-degree change for me, where I’m gonna be able to go into my bag and do what I know how to do.”
Nery out-pointed Alameda comfortably on two of the three scorecards (118-110, 116-112, 115-113) in a fight that was part of a Showtime Pay-Per-View undercard that featured Jermall Charlo and Jermell Charlo in two of the biggest fights of their careers. If Nery defeats Figueroa as well, he is expected to box WBO champion Stephen Fulton (19-0, 8 KOs) in a 12-round, 122-pound title unification fight that Showtime will televise September 11 from an undetermined venue.
“I’m excited not just about coming to the ring and potentially having a great fight [against Figueroa],” Nery said. “I’m also excited to see what winning this fight will do for my career, what the future has in store for me. That question will only be answered by winning this fight. I’m really excited because this could be the beginning of a great story for me.”
Nery and Figueroa will fight for Nery’s WBC and Figueroa’s WBA world super bantamweight championships in the last of three fights Showtime will air from Dignity Health Sports Park.
The telecast will begin at 10 p.m. ET with a 10-round junior lightweight bout in which Xavier Martinez (16-0, 11 KOs), of Sacramento, California, will meet Mexico’s Juan Carlos Burgos (34-4-2, 21 KOs). In Showtime’s co-feature, Los Angeles’ Daniel Roman (28-3-1, 16 KOs) and Mexico’s Ricardo Espinoza (25-3, 21 KOs) will square off in a 10-round super bantamweight bout.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.